In today’s fast-paced world, it is undeniable that smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives. From staying connected with loved ones to managing schedules, accessing information and engaging in endless entertainment, our phones have seamlessly integrated into our existence. However, this deep integration has also brought forth new challenges in terms of our digital habits and overall wellbeing.
Amidst this landscape, Zario emerges as a revolutionary solution. This pioneering app recognizes the impact of smartphones on our lives and aims to transform our relationship with these powerful devices. By empowering individuals to develop healthier habits and establish a more mindful approach to their phone usage, Zario seeks to strike a balance between the advantages of technology and the need for a fulfilled and present life.
As our reliance on smartphones continues to grow, Zario serves as a guiding light, providing innovative tools and resources to help users navigate the digital world with intentionality. By encouraging self-reflection, fostering mindful behaviors and gradually reducing screen time, Zario supports individuals in reclaiming control over their lives and nurturing their overall well-being.
In an interview with Healthcare Everything, Ondrej Zak, the CEO and Co-founder of Zario walks us through the company’s movement in leading a more balanced and mindful digital lifestyle. Let’s explore their transformative app and unlock the potential to create a harmonious relationship between technology and your well-lived life.
Following are the excerpts from the interview:
Kindly brief us about the company. What led to its inception?
I reached my lowest point when my boss caught me swiping on Tinder during an important work meeting. This incident caused immense humiliation, leaving me feeling powerless and ashamed. It was at that moment that I recognized my unhealthy dependence on my phone.
Overcoming this addiction proved to be a tough journey, revealing the lack of support and resources available for individuals facing similar challenges. I realized that I was not alone in this struggle, as 63% of consumers attempt to reduce their screen time, but a staggering 9 out of 10 fail to do so.
Motivated by this widespread issue, I made the decision to create Zario – the first app to gamify screen time reduction and promote digital wellbeing by utilizing innovative features backed by psychology research.
Can you elaborate upon the core values, mission, and vision on which the company is built?
Our vision is to revolutionize the way people use technology and promote a more balanced relationship with their digital devices. We aspire to become the #1 global platform dedicated to empowering individuals to lead fulfilling lives by reducing screen time, improving digital habits, and promoting overall wellbeing.
At our core, we believe that the phone is not the problem, but rather how we use it. By offering innovative tools and resources, our app is committed to reducing screen time, improving focus and increasing productivity. This way, users can reclaim their time and prioritize what truly matters in life.
What are the variety of services/products that your company has to offer?
Zario is an app that helps individuals develop a healthier relationship with their phones by gradually reducing usage and encouraging mindful behaviors.
The following is a short summary of the features offered by the Zario app:
- Daily challenges to reduce screen time: Zario provides daily challenges to reduce screen time and replace it with healthy alternatives. These challenges are designed to be fun and engaging, helping users build healthier habits around technology.
- The Circuit Breaker™: Zario’s Circuit Breaker is designed to stop mindless scrolling and reduce app distractions. It opens a decision screen before launching distracting apps, helping users take control of their phone usage and develop healthier habits around technology.
- Personalized journey with psychology-based techniques: Zario’s personalized journey utilizes psychology-based techniques to help change habits in a fun and engaging way. Whether trying to reduce screen time or improve focus, Zario provides the tools and support needed to achieve goals.
- Focus sessions to reduce distractions: Zario’s focus sessions are designed to reduce distractions and promote concentration on tasks. Points are gained with every completed focus session, and users can rank higher on Zario’s leaderboard as they progress.
What procedures does the company find to be essential when supporting the target population’s care?
It is important for people to understand if people have a problem or not. That is why we developed the digital wellbeing score that can help people assess their overall digital wellbeing and identify potential areas of concern.
Our digital wellbeing score is a comprehensive tool based on the latest research on social media addiction and contains 13 questions related to daily phone usage. It provides the respondents with actionable advice on how to improve. We have had thousands of users using our digital wellbeing score and sharing it.
What endeavors is the company currently pursuing to improve its measures and best serve patients?
To improve our measures and best serve patients, Zario is actively engaging in the following activities:
- User research and feedback: We conduct thorough user research and gather feedback to understand our users´ needs, preferences, and pain points.
- App enhancement and innovation: We are committed to continuously improving our app´s functionality, user interface and overall performance to best fit our users’ needs. This includes incorporating user feedback and implementing new features to ensure a user-friendly and efficient experience for our users.
- User education and empowerment: We provide comprehensive information, articles and resources on our app and website, as well as on social media to help educate and empower our users in managing their digital wellness.
How do you envision scaling your company’s services and operations in 2023 and beyond?
At Zario, our vision is to become the leading screen time reduction app for Android and iOS. We are committed to delivering an efficient and effective solution for our users. To achieve this, we have been developing and testing innovative features in collaboration with our users. Our revamped iOS app (launching soon) incorporates valuable feedback for a seamless and intuitive experience.
An exciting advancement is our use of AI to provide personalized recommendations. Our AI algorithms analyze user behavior, preferences and goals to suggest alternative activities aligned with their objectives, helping them break free from mindless scrolling and optimize their time.
By responding to customer demand, we are actively creating a family package that motivates and engages children through gamification and rewards, promoting healthy digital habits and strengthening family connections. Furthermore, we’re introducing a dedicated browser tool that applies psychology-driven principles and gamification techniques from our app to help individuals develop healthier digital habits across various platforms.
What are some of the recognitions that accurately highlight Zario’s position in the market?
Since our launch in May 2022, our app received numerous recognitions, incl. the #1 app of the day on ProductHunt. We gained over 20k downloads and have 300 daily active users. Our concept received approval from leading experts in the field (London School of Economics, University of Zurich).
Additionally, we were selected as part of Google’s Best of 2022 apps in the category App for Good. In April, we won first place at the EU-Startups summit in Barcelona out of 1’300 startups, securing us a price package worth €160’000.